Clarkson nets a priceless goal at Adams Park
Wycombe Wanderers 1
Brown (11), Clarkson (75)
Those of a nervous disposition might not have enjoyed this roller coaster of a match that saw Rovers register their second away win of the season and give themselves a great chance of playing League Two football again next season.
Lee Brown’s 11th minute free kick was just reward for the way they started the game, but they went off the boil after that and conceded an equaliser on 20 minutes.
The game became a scrappy affair after that with possession being given away far too easily by both sides.
However David Clarkson popped up with a 75th minute winner to calm a few nerves and ensure that 2,000 plus Gasheads were celebrating at the final whistle.
Manager Darrell Clarke made just one change to his starting lineup for this afternoon’s crucial match.
After only two substitute appearances, against Portsmouth and Rochdale last weekend, Fabian Broghammer started his first game of the season and replaced Ollie Clarke.
Rovers made a bright start to the game and they fashioned an early chance when David Clarkson played in Broghammer, but his shot was turned behind for a corner by goalkeeper Matt Ingram.
It didn’t take too long for Darrell Clarke’s side to edge in front, though.
Clarkson tried to push the ball past Matt Bloomfield but the Wycombe player stopped it with his hand and from the resulting free kick Lee Brown curled a delightful free kick into the top corner of the net.
Bloomfield was then in action at the other end and his goalbound left foot shot was blocked by Tom Parkes at the expense of a corner.
On 20 minutes, though, the home side scored an unexpected equaliser when Sam Wood floated a free kick into the box and somehow Matt McClure got a touch on the ball even though it was behind him, and directed it past Steve Mildenhall and into the net.
Play became scrappy after that and nerves seemed to affect a number of players from both sides as passes went astray instead of finding their target.
McClure drilled a free kick into Rovers’ defensive wall, while Anthony Stewart hit a shot wide of the mark before the break.
McClure went close to edging his side in front shortly after the restart, but his effort was wide of the target, though it was one of few chances in an increasingly scrappy game.
The all important goal arrived on 75 minutes after Clucas floated a ball into the Wycombe area. A poor defensive header dropped at the feet of Clarkson, who was lurking in the six yard box and he volleyed past Ingham from close range.
Jubilant Gasheads ran on to the pitch to celebrate, but were soon back with their colleagues in the stand, where the rather nervous celebrations continued until the final whistle.
They might have had another goal to celebrate, but Kaid Mohamed ran out of steam when 25 yards from goal and fired a tame effort straight at Ingham.
Another good natured pitch invasion at the final whistle was more out of relief than anything else. The real celebrations can, hopefully, start next week when a draw against Mansfield at the Memorial Stadium will guarantee League Two safety.
Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Tom Lockyer, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Kaid Mohamed, Seanan Clucas, John-Joe O’Toole (Ollie Clarke, 88), Fabian Broghammer (Steven Gillespie, 53), David Clarkson, Matt Harrold (Chris Beardsley, 71),
Substitutes: Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Alefe Santos, Pat Keary
Yellow Card: Clucas (74)
Wycombe Wanderers: Matt Ingram, Danny Rowe, Aaron Pierre, Anthony Stewart, Sam Wood, Matt Bloomfield, Josh Scowen, Stuart Lewis, Max Kretzschmar (Junior Morias, 84), Matt McClure, Steven Craig (Reece Styche, 84)
Substitutes: Marvin McCoy, Leon Johnson, Charlie Horlock, Jo Kuffour, Nick Arnold
Referee: Mr D Coote
Rovers Supporters: 1,953